Welcome to the Daily Podcast
28 Days Connection First Journey
Day 10, Listening with the Eyes
Today it was really difficult for me to write an inspiring story. I spent almost the whole day in front of the PC and nothing clever came out of it.
Then I went outside in the garden and looked at various blossoms of the flowers already blooming in the garden.
While focusing on my hearing, I could make out the sounds from the construction site in the village, the Eurasian blackcap (Sylvia atricapilla) in the neighbors bush, the tit and sparrow further in the back.
And in that moment I looked at the blossoms again.
Wow! … It just drew me into a new level of experience.
Now, this is from Jon…
Hello, Jon here. It’s a really pretty day here in the mountains of California. I heard my first warbling vireo song today. And went for a walk in my neighborhood and saw many more birds, squirrels and a chipmunk. Hope you are well, and thank you for being on this journey.
This exercise is hard to “pin down” in words. That’s okay. Please allow me to share a bit of psychology and neurobiology to help you see, perhaps, something helpful about this exercise.
There’s a phenomenon in our sensory journey called “synesthesia” described in Google dictionary as follows: the production of a sense impression relating to one sense or part of the body by stimulation of another sense or part of the body.
It is not important at all for you to get this concept, just to have the experience of synesthesia. The sense meditation causes this every time you do it.
This is hard to describe. Usually poems are what people use to “describe” something internal that is difficult to “pin down”. It’s very relaxing, and inspires creativity, and somehow opens channels of sensory awareness that we don’t normally use. It’s incredibly potent for sensory integration--a big part of our Connection First Journey.
Even though this exercise is a bit like trying to catch smoke in a bowl, there’s still value in having the experience, and doing our best as storytellers to bring that experience alive in the reliving of the nature experience. In my audio, I describe how Tom did this with me (for the first time of many times over the years). In my story it’s about a deer track that I am excited about (and become “focus locked” on, shutting off my other senses). It’s the song of the wood thrush that brings me into that state of synesthesia. I can still remember this moment and relive it like it was yesterday, and it was over 40 years ago. Do your best, use your body as a dance, or find words as poetry. Just relive the experience of looking with your eyes (Michi chose a flower, and that’s totally fine). A track is really fun too, because it’s mysterious to begin with!
This is also today's nature exercise:
1. Find something in nature that has left a track.
2. Open your sense of hearing, hear what's going on around you.
3. Look closely at the track and listen to the surroundings at the same time. ;-)
4. hare your experience with your partner or in your group.
What did you look at?
What things did you notice while listening?
Describe how your perception was changed?
When you listened to your partner telling their story, did you listen to your surroundings?
What is emerging from the combined senses and sharing this experience with another person or people?
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May you be blessed with surprises from your senses.
With many fine wishes,
Michi & Jon
This exercise really has brought new layers to my depth of connection, thank you. I could totally identify with what you describe as a focus lock. When I discussed this with a botany friend of mine, he said that sometimes he quite enjoys this moment of forgetting everything around you and to just fall into this plant. And I understand what he means. After we did this exercise though we both agreed that it is still quite an enrichment to also listen with the eyes to the plant. I had an intense experience, where I looked at a plant whilst listening to the different sound of the birds. The plant in its different parts seemed to mirror the distinct sounds of the bird. One leave would visualise one single chirp-sound, while the top part, more dense in its structure would visualise the melodic and fast changing part of the bird song. It is difficult to explain, but the plant was almost like a visualisation of the bird sounds, similar patterns, similar structure. Beautiful.